Get ready for the Town of Amherst's new idea of what makes a family.
The town wants to replace the existing, one-sentence definition of "family" in its zoning code with a lengthy, 2½-page explanation of what constitutes a clan. Town Attorney Stanley J. Sliwa said Amherst proposes to broaden the definition to make it easier to restrict rooming, boarding and fraternity and sorority houses.
Amherst's zoning code narrowly defines a family as people living together related by "blood, marriage or adoption," or "whose living arrangements are the functional equivalent of a traditional family."
The proposed change states four or more people living together who are not related by blood, marriage or adoption or legal foster relationship aren't equivalent to a family unless they can prove permanence, for example, through common ownership of furniture and appliances.
The Planning Board must review and the Town Board must approve the changes.